Road rage is something that affects many drivers and it’s amazing to see that some of the calmest people in everyday life are transformed when they get behind the wheel. Whether you are planning a second hand purchase via Netcars.com, or buying a new car, think carefully about the model you choose to ensure that it doesn’t bring out the worst in you. If you’re susceptible to angry episodes when you’re in charge of your vehicle, here are ten tips on how to stay calm and avoid road rage while driving.
1. Breathe! Sadly it’s inevitable that we’re all going to encounter aggressive or reckless drivers whose actions put us in a state of unease or worse still, they can even be a danger to our safety on the road. As we all know, it’s best not to react but sometimes the urge to display our anger is overwhelming. The first simple step involves breathing – deep breaths in and deep breaths out are a well-known relaxation technique that works at all times, even when you’re behind the wheel.
2. Laugh! This is a common suggestion for anyone who becomes embroiled in a potential road rage situation. Even if you don’t feel like breaking out into smiles, try and force yourself into doing so. It’s odd how the muscle memory tricks you into laughing and seeing the funny side of any situation.
3. Turn on the radio. Divert your attention by listening to your favourite station or have a tape or CD on hand that contains your most relaxing pieces of music for the most stressful situations.
4. Think of the perfect evening. Turn your mind away from any incident and on to the evening you have planned. Maybe you’re having your favourite meal or just a deep relaxing bath. Even if you haven’t made any plans, turn your attention towards a relaxing event and make time for it as a form of reward.
5. Ignore it! Assuming that the driver who has been the subject of your displeasure is really turning their anger towards someone else is a good step to consider. Simply thinking of it as someone else’s issue can help the anger subside.
6. Look at your driving. It certainly is worth considering your own driving at this point to see if there is anything you’ve done to enrage another driver. If you’re honest, you’ll know if you’ve made an error so just keep it in mind. If it’s a common issue with your style of driving, then you must address it.
7. Move over. If you have an aggressive driver tailgating you then maybe the most sensible thing is to let them by. It certainly makes you calmer when the driver is off your back.
8. Drive defensively at all times. Avoid aggressive driving, as it will only take you into situations where road rage can become an issue.
9. Don’t make eye contact. This is arguably the worst move you can make in any situation. If you are the victim of road rage then eye contact will only enrage the other driver but if you are struggling to stay calm yourself, eye contact will only serve to stir those feelings of anger even further.
10. Keep your distance. If you feel yourself becoming impatient, hang back from other users and don’t be tempted to tailgate. Simply maintaining your own space can lead to calmer, safer driving.